Five Critical Practices Overview *
1. Focus on the Direction
Leaders provide guidance in identifying and developing an understanding of the core beliefs and mission of the organization. The core beliefs guide the work and all decisions of the organization. Consensus among faculty and staff about students and the school’s role in student learning is critical to maintaining the focus of the organization.
2. Build a Powerful Organization
Leaders build a community of learners and supporters through knowledge sharing with faculty, staff, and community. Ongoing informal and formal communication surrounding the status of the school, including successes and challenges, encourages productive discussions and fosters collaborative development of practices to enhance the effectiveness of the school and continuously increase student learning.
3. Give Life to Data
Leaders share with all stakeholders critical data related to student learning and school effectiveness. Gaining a solid understanding of data analysis through thoughtful conversations with parent groups, faculty, and staff encourages careful examination of student performance in response to instructional practices.
4. Ensure Student-Focused Vision and Action
Leaders protect time, allocate resources, and support personnel in creating and maintaining a focus on improving instructional practices that result in high levels of learning for all students. Safeguarding routine faculty collaborative time for lesson design and analysis of student work promotes student-centered practices.
5. Lead Learning
Leaders model life-long learning and provide routinized time and resources for faculty and staff to learn, collaborate, and reflect on student learning and the implications for instructional practices. Leaders challenge and support faculty and staff as they innovate and examine barriers to meaningful change. Leaders also create a sense of immediacy of the need for improvement in all areas of learning.
* For the Standards and Indicators of each Critical Practice, go to the Navigation Bar at the left.
Download the full Five Critical Practices Outline.